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FAA Plan To Shift Air Traffic Patterns Over East Bay Gets Dropped Following Outcry

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) -- The Federal Aviation Administration has decided to table a controversial plan that would have shifted the air traffic over the Bay Area. While it's a win for some communities, others would like to see different changes.

"On behalf of my district I can say that I am personally thrilled," said Berkeley District 3 Councilmember Ben Barlett. " And so are tens of thousands of people."

Like many others, Councilman Bartlett is thrilled that his community will not be getting new traffic. The FAA had proposed taking the Windsor flight path, currently over the East Bay Hills, and moving it westward, right above the flats of Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond. After a loud public outcry, the FAA dropped that plan last night.

"This part of the East Bay has an inordinate amount of pollution, toxic soil, and pollution from the [Interstate Highway] 80 corridor," Barlett explained. "To add that air highway to that ground highway traffic would be unjust."

"Everybody was against the idea of moving it West," said Reva Fabricant.

Fabricant didn't want to see Windsor moved, and she lives right beneath up in the Oakland Hills. That's also where traffic leaving SFO on the Truckin flight path has been narrowed down to just a few narrow lanes. Remember, the FAA has been using technology to condense air traffic. People living under those paths say it has become unbearable.

"So when the planes are dispersed, yeah, you get some noise. But maybe you get 10 or 15 planes a day as opposed to 100 a day,"  said Fabricant. "Big difference."

Residents in the hills have gone so far as to develop their own flight path proposals for the FAA, routes they say will move traffic to higher elevations, and away from more populated areas.

"I think going forward the FAA is going to have to take a hard look at what it is subjecting neighborhoods to with its commercial flight corridors," said Barlett.

"That's basically the way everybody is feeling in the country he has been impacted by this,"  Fabricant added. "We need the planes dispersed, not concentrated into such narrow paths."


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